ACKnowl-EJ (Academic-Activist Co-Produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice) was a network of scholars and activists engaged in action and collaborative research, that aimed to analyze the transformative potential of community responses to extractivism and alternatives born from resistance. We aimed to co-produce knowledge that can empower communities to push for change and geared towards the needs of social groups, advocates, citizens and social movements. The ACKnowl-EJ network emphasized the transformative nature of movements against ‘extractivism’ in charting paths towards sustainable and equitable futures from the ground up, based on the assumption that therein lies the greatest potential action and agency for dealing with environmental and social crises today.
The project (duration: 2016 - 2019) also responded to the need for a deeper enquiry into the co-production of knowledge and how activist, community and expert epistemologies complement and collide in processes of joint knowledge production. We believed that innovative research is needed to understand both the mechanisms of exclusion and the mechanisms through which conflicts become forces for transformation and through which citizen empowerment happens.
Acknowl-ej aimed to achieve the following main objectives:
1) To stimulate political debate regarding social conflicts over the environment
2) To uncover and describe the mechanisms under which environmental injustices are reproduced within a social-‐metabolic perspective
3) An epistemological enquiry into the co-production of knowledge, praxis and action for EJ and sustainability.
4) Examination of conflict transformation processes and concrete alternatives to well-being and how they are actualized and lead to empowerment processes at social, community and individual levels.
5) Doing so by an innovative collaborative process in which activists and academics, and activists-‐academics interchange knowledge and methods.
EJATLAS (documentation of around 50 resistance and conflict cases from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal on the EJAtlas platform)